Q. How will my child's school handle an emergency?
All schools have an emergency preparedness plan and staff have been trained in how to deal with emergencies. The response will differ based on the situation. Procedures for different situations, roles and responsibilities of administration and staff, designation of crisis teams, use of critical response kits, and designation of evacuation routes and sites are all noted. All plans are reviewed and updated annually and when needed. Crisis teams receive updated training as needed.
Q. I've heard the term lockdown. What is a lockdown?
If an emergency prevents the safe evacuation of students from school, students would be kept in their classrooms or another designated area in the school that is away from the danger. Entrances to the school are secured, ensuring that no unauthorized person enters the building.
Q. When would a school go into lockdown? It would depend on several factors, including the level of threat and the advice of local, state, and federal officials. The safety of students and staff would be the primary concern in any decision.
Q. What is shelter-in-place?
If an accident or attack occurred that caused the air to be contaminated in nearby areas, students would remain in the school. All doors and windows would be closed, and the air system would be shut down to prevent air from being drawn into the building. This is a short-term measure to temporarily separate people from a hazardous outdoor environment.
Q. What if my child is riding a school bus at the time of a crisis?
Buses are equipped with communication devices and drivers are in contact with the Transportation Department. Depending on the crisis, the driver would receive directions about how to proceed and where children should be taken. In addition, parents would be notified as soon as possible through the media. Remember, it's very important that the school have updated parental contact information.
Q. How do I contact the school at a time of crisis/emergency?
Parents will be kept informed through the media. Please do not call the school which needs the phone lines open to deal with the emergency.
Q. How would my child know what to do in an emergency?
It's important to talk to your child now and let him/her know that their teachers will give them instructions. This is also a good time to talk with your child about safety.
Q. What about my child's medication if there is an emergency?
If your child takes medication, be sure that the school has an appropriate amount on hand. If you have questions, contact the school nurse.
Q. Will children be allowed to view events of a crisis via live television reports?
Appropriate decisions will be made depending on the age of the children and the nature of the situation.
Q. During national alerts or times of crisis, how does the district deal with field trips?
The impact on field trips depends on the specific circumstances, which are monitored carefully. During times of crisis, the district will also follow the direction of local, state, and federal officials. If safety is an issue, field trips would be canceled. If students are already on a field trip, they could be directed to return to the school or to a designated safe area. As a reminder, the district retains the right to cancel any field trip or activity for safety reasons and is not responsible for any financial obligation of parents.
Q. Who can pick up my child at school?
Each school follows a sign-out procedure when students need to leave during the day. Children may be released only to individuals who are authorized to pick them up. Again, it's very important that the information on the emergency information card at the school is updated.